Monday, February 25, 2013

The "Aha" moment

Leave it to good ol' Mater to inspire a blog post!  Mater who you say?  Well, let me tell you he's the tow truck from the CARS movie.  Yeah, I know of all things to inspire a moment of "aha".  The line I was thinking of is when he talks about his rear view mirrors and how "I don't need to know where I'm going, I just need to know where I been". 

So where "you been" this time last year?  I know where I was!  I was 2 days into a ten day stay at the Wake Medical Children's Hospital with a very sick 12 day old baby Micah.

I remember standing in the Emergency Room and thinking how I wanted to go home, I wanted a healthy baby, I wanted to enjoy my little family all together and I really wanted some sleep!  Obviously the key word in the above sentence is "I" and God had other plans.  One of those plans where you know there is a lesson in it you just can not (at the time) figure it out or even have the energy to think about it.  Enter the statement from good ol' Mater: "don't need to know where I'm going, just need to know where I been."  God is always faithful!

It was during this time that we were reminded of how very blessed we are.  Our family was amazing!  My Mom drove down to stay with Micah and I at the hospital.  Alex's Mom and a very dear friend "Aunt" Linda came down from CT to help with the boys at home while Alex was working and going to school and driving to and from the hospital when he could.  Our Church family was awesome!  They were faithful prayer warriors, brought meals, came to visit, called, gave us gas money (the hospital was a 2 hour round trip from our home) and loved us!

I was so weary through all of this, we all were.  At the same time I remember feeling sad and almost angry that I was missing out on time at home.  We were set to move in a matter of weeks; the adventure of where God was calling us next was soon upon us!  While I knew (and know) beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Netherlands is where God wants our family to be I loved, loved, loved where He had us.  I loved our home in the soy bean field (or maybe they had planted tobacco that year I can't remember) I loved our Church family, neighbors, friends, kids friends and the list could go on...and I did not want to miss a moment of it.  Now for the "aha" (you've been holding out for the point of this right? Me too).  The good that came from the hard times of Micah being sick was that we got a mega sized dose of the love of those around us, of God's love for us and how He is with us even when we are feeling like slipping into the depths of despair. 

I guess you could kinda' say we sorta know where we are going...we are going to the Netherlands.  As for what the future holds we have no idea (hey, and guess what!?  Neither do you!)  We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow or next week or next year or if we will even make it until then!  But the good news is we don't need to know the future, the Bible says so!  We need to know where we have been, remember how faithful God has been in the past and rest in the fact that He is unchanging, all powerful, all knowing and doesn't need rear view mirrors!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Our February Newsletter

Feb. Stewart Chronicles 2013 by

Missions and the Timing of Christ's Return

I have read a good deal about the end times and am convinced that the clearest statement about the timing of  Jesus' return to set things right in his world comes in Matthew 24:14. "And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." The end will come when the Gospel has been proclaimed throughout the world. We should look less for the beginning of the so-called Great Tribulation and appearance of the Anti-Christ and look more to global missions!

Dr. Black, my major professor at Southeastern, recently alerted me to a brief but relevant discussion about unreached people groups by John Piper entitled "How Much Is Left to Do in the Great Commission?" Definitely check it out. More than at any other point in history the job is doable in our lifetimes! It will of course require intense sacrifice since many of the remaining unreached people groups are located in places where there is direct and violent opposition to the Gospel. Man's opposition, however, has never been able to stop the advance of God's kingdom and Jesus made it quite clear that sacrifice will accompany discipleship.

                             Dr. Black and I during a recent visit. Who is taller? :-)